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Jessica Hardy

Olympic Swimmer

1.) What has been your career highlight so far? 

I have two favorite memories in my career thus far; one, being when I broke two world records in the same race (the 50 & 100 breaststroke) in 2009; the second, standing on the podium at the London Olympics wearing a medal around my neck. All I can remember from that moment is looking into the stands seeing my family & friends who had rushed down to the first row, and their faces were full of tears of joy.

 

2.) Who were your heroes growing up? 

My mom has been my hero since I can remember. She is the toughest, most fearless woman that I know.

 

3.) What advice do you have for an aspiring athlete? 

Never take no for an answer. If someone tries to crush your dreams, make it your mission to prove them wrong.

 

4.) Describe a time you had to persevere through a difficult situation.

At the 2012 US Olympic Trials, I didn't qualify in the event that I am the current world record holder in (the 100 breaststroke). I got third place, and they only take the top two finishers to the Olympics. I was heartbroken, and allowed myself to cry for 24 hours, but then had to pick myself back up and fight - I ended up winning the 100 & 50 freestyles, which was a huge shock to myself and everyone around me. Mental toughness made the difference.

 

5.) What is something about being an olympic swimmer that a casual fan may not know about?

The Olympics are just another swim meet, and Olympians are just like all of you. It is still about swimming the same events that we have swam since our days on summer league teams, and we are still just as goofy as we were back then too. We still get nervous, and we still like to pull pranks on each other to calm down.

 

6.) What was your favorite subject in school?  Why?

My favorite subject was always P.E., where I could race and play sports with my friends. But if I had to choose a real subject, it would be History or English. I like to read and write.

 

7.) What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to go to the beach, I live 2 blocks away from the Pacific in Southern California. Body surfing, stand up paddle boarding, and boating are some of my favorite beach activities. I also like to travel, read, go to movies, shop, and spend time with my family and friends.